Tag Archives: DIY

Header Aftermarket Turbo Subaru FAQ

Header Aftermarket Turbo Subaru FAQ

The primary purpose of an aftermarket header on a turbocharged Subaru is to remove or replace the stock exhaust manifold with a better flowing unit.

An Agency Power Stainless Steel Header for a EJ257
An Agency Power Stainless Steel Header for a EJ257.

HP gain is 15HP and 20TQ. This figure is highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. It also varies because some headers incorporate an uppipe into their design. This makes it nearly impossible to compare the gains of a header without an uppipe vs. a header with an uppipe.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” headers on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad pipes sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

Where can I find headers?

Subaru WRX STI Header Prosport Unequal Length Stainless Steel Header

Perrin Subaru STi /WRX Header Equal Length Big Tube

AP WRX/ STI Stainless Steel Unequal Length Header w/o Uppipe

Invidia HS05SW1HDR Racing Header for Subaru WRX STI/Legacy GT

Agency Power (AP-GDA-175) Unequal Length Header, Stainless Steel

Perrin PSP-EXT-050 04-08 STi /LGT/FXT/06-08 WRX (06+ WRX requires modification to oil cooler) Header (02-05 WRX Requires STi Oil Pan)

TOMEI 193082 Headers

What differences are there with headers? The main difference is exhaust piping length. Headers are made to be unequal length or equal length. Unequal means the piping on the driver’s side of the engine will be longer than the passenger’s side. Equal means the piping length is equidistant from the engine outlet to the header outlet for all piping.

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Downpipe Turbo Subaru FAQ

Downpipe Turbo Subaru FAQ

Buying a aftermarket downpipe is a typical modification which removes or replaces the stock catalytic converter with a better flowing unit. It also increases the exhaust diameter for better flow.

HP gain is 15-20HP. This figure is highly debated as different manufacturers use different dynos with different cars with different levels of mods. It also varies because some downpipes use one high flow cat, while others are catless and actually extend far enough back to eliminate the 3rd cat as well.

I have an 06/07 WRX, is the downpipe the same? No. The 06/07 WRX has a unique exhaust in that it’s downpipe is both the downpipe and catpipe sections of the “older” exhaust. This means you must use a “long” downpipe to bolt up to the rest of your exhaust system. A full TBE will fit fine, but when replacing just the downpipe, you must use a long downpipe.

I have an 08/09 WRX, is the downpipe the same? No. The 08/09 WRX has a unique exhaust in that it’s downpipe is the same, fitment wise, as the Legacy GT. So if you have one of these models, you must ensure you state your model/year to your vendor or specifically request the “Legacy GT downpipe” for your car in order to assure proper fitment.

Which manufacturer is best? This topic is highly debated. There have been no reported consistent “bad” downpipes on the market. Obviously, there may have been bad pipes sold, but not enough to report as “bad” overall.

What downpipe metal material is best? Downpipes are made from mild steel and stainless steel (304 & 321). There is no irrefutable evidence that one material is better than the other. Obviously, corrosion levels are higher with mild steel (coated or otherwise). Article on exhaust materials.

Which downpipe construction method is best? Downpipes have 4 main construction methods:
1. Blank plate: Identical to stock construction with the wastegate portion completely covered.
2. Bellmouth: Completely open design.
3. Split bellmouth: Similar to bellmouth only with a divider inserted to separate the wastegate.
4. Divorced or Twin Dump: Separate exhaust and wastegate piping that connect further downstream.

There is no irrefutable evidence that one design is better than the other. The thought process is that the greater the separation there is between the wastegate gases and exhaust gases, the smoother the overall exhaust flow.

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BOV: Blow off Valve Subaru FAQ

BOV: Blow off Valve Subaru FAQ

Term usage: “Blow off valves” go by several names, among them are compressor bypass valve (CBV), air by-pass valve, bypass valve (BPV), blow off valve (BOV), Diverter valve, and possibly a few others. BOV is the common and incorrect term that lumps true blow off valves and bypass valves under the same term. For the sake of correctness, this post will refer to either aftermarket BOV, aftermarket BPV or OEM BPV as these are the most correct terms.

What is the function of a blow off valve (BOV)? To release pressure from the intake tract of a turbo car when the throttle closes. It is a vacuum-actuated valve designed to releases the air to the atmosphere.

What is the function of a bypass valve (BPV)? To release pressure from the intake tract of a turbo car when the throttle closes. It is a vacuum-actuated valve designed to recirculate the air back into the intake before the turbo inlet, but after the airflow sensor.

A stock Subaru BPV (not a BOV).
A stock Subaru BPV (not a BOV).

What is the purpose of a BOV/BPV? When the throttle closes and the intake system is under pressure, the high-pressure air entering the motor will bump into the closed throttle plate, and in the absence of a BOV/BPV, a pressure wave will travel back to the turbocharger. The result is that the compressor wheel will stall (a phenomenon known as “compressor surge”) and slow down very quickly. This is hard on the bearings and decreases the turbo’s lifespan, but it also means the turbo will take longer to spin up the next time the throttle is opened.

Are aftermarket BOVs necessary with Subaru turbos? No. The OEM BPV is perfectly fine up to 20psi of boost. For applications using higher boost levels, an aftermarket BOV/BPV should be considered.

Can I mod my stock BPV to hold higher boost? Yes. I’ll be creating a post giving detailed instructions on how to do so.

Is the STi BPV better than the WRX BPV? No. They are the same. However, the JDM STi BPV will hold more boost as it is physically different than both the USDM STi BPV and the WRX BPV. The specific PSI rating of the JDM STi BPV is unknown, but users have reported it is good up to 25 PSI.

Is an aftermarket BPV better than the stock BPV? No. Unless you are considering an aftermarket BPV solely for the purposes of holding higher boost levels. An aftermarket unit should sound just like the OEM unit.

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Intake pipe turbo subaru FAQ

Intake Turbo Subaru

The primary purpose of an aftermarket intake is to increase the amount of air flow the engine receives.

HP gain is 0-15HP. These HP figures are a range as different intakes have different dyno results.

What is an aftermarket intake? Aftermarket intakes can be broken down into two types:
1. Short ram: AKA shorty or ram pod.
2. Cold air intake: AKA CAI.

What does the stock intake look like? To gain a perspective on how aftermarket intakes function, the stock intake features will be shown and discussed for further clarity.

This is the stock intake as viewed from the driver’s side.
The “U” shaped assembly and the tank that connects to it on the left is commonly referred to as the snorkel,  silencer, or resonator. It is actually hidden in the fender.

Stock Subaru turbo intake piping.
Stock Subaru turbo intake piping.

This is the stock intake as viewed from the passenger’s side.

This is the stock intake as viewed from the passenger's side.
This is the stock intake as viewed from the passenger’s side.

This is the stock intake as viewed from above.
1. Stock “ram intake” funnel.
2. Stock air filter box.
3. MAF sensor.
4. MAF sensor piping.

This is the stock intake as viewed from above. 1. Stock "ram intake" funnel. 2. Stock air filter box. 3. MAF sensor. 4. MAF sensor piping.
This is the stock intake as viewed from above.
1. Stock “ram intake” funnel.
2. Stock air filter box.
3. MAF sensor.
4. MAF sensor piping.
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5spd Subaru WRX five speed manual tips and tricks

5spd Subaru WRX five speed manual tips and tricks:

So you’ve got this noise coming from your 5spd transmission. It is starting to whine when you’re on/off the throttle. The sound seems to come right from below like around the shifter area. You may be a victim of the infamous falling apart center differential!

Don’t be too worried, transmissions are a dime a dozen! You still have the option to go 6spd or another 5spd transmission with different gear ratios if you choose.

 5spd: The damage. Most times the rear cover will back out minor like this photo. Other times it will completely come off. You can see the circlip survived this incident.
5Spd: The damage. Most times the rear cover will back out minor like this photo. Other times it will completely come off. You can see the circlip survived this incident on this WRX
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